Bug-Face Mask – Just Starting

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Cicada Mask
How the bug mask looked when it was done.

I found a dead Cicada in the park this morning when I took my dogs for a walk, and I just had to bring it home and use it as a model for a bug-faced mask.

These bugs are huge, and they have the most interesting faces. Those big  eyeballs on the corner of the head are really cool, and they have subtle markings on their dark skin. I think this guy will make a great mask.

>Video 2, still working on the clay model, adding plaster cloth.

>Video 3 – the paper mache clay

>Video 4 – adding the wings and painting the cicada

For this sculpt I’m using WED clay again, although I used unbaked Super Sculpey when I made the masks in my mask book.

The mask should look very much like an alien when it’s done, but my neighbors will recognize that face, because they’ve seen hundreds of these big bugs.

The cicadas come every year in this part of the country, and they sound like tiny chainsaws when they’re “singing” in the trees. There can be hundreds of them performing a very coordinated concert in just one city block.

Quite a racket – but I kind of like the noise. You get used to it, and it seems strangely quiet when they go away in the winter. Where do they go, anyway? (I probably should look that up. :)

I’ve only just got started. I’ll keep working on it, and there will be more posts as I continue sculpting my bug-eyed mask. See how I block out the basic shapes over my home-made mask form in the video.

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16 thoughts on “Bug-Face Mask – Just Starting”

  1. This is so neat! I am not used to seeing bugs like this since I live in Alaska and we don´t have them. When I was visited my dad in Georgia he found a dead shell of one on a branch and told me about them. I still have that tucked away in a box. My dad knows me well. A lot of people would shriek and run around in circles but I love bugs and other creatures and love to learn about them. This is so neat!

  2. Jonni. Maybe a few well hidden microphones near their front gates? (And if you want to attract their attention even more, maybe get a recording of that beautiful song they make and hide a speaker in the wings and play it as you exit the house. What fun! I’d do it in a heartbeat. But then again, my neighbors would not be too surprised.)

  3. Jonnie you are quite a gal…………the Bugs die and the eggs hatch in the ground usually and start over again. We get them every seven years and they do a lot of damage to the vegetation but nobody ever said it was fair just the circle of life.
    I am working on cement head statues and they are fabulous. I really enjoy the website Jonnie keep it up

    • Hi Janie. It looks like Calen’s bugs are slower to hatch than yours, but our cicadas hatch every year. Maybe our bugs lost their rhythm or something. ;)

      Do you have some photos of your cement work you’d be willing to share with us?

      • Nice work Jonni-I look forward to the finished product. There are different types of cicadas, some hatch every year, some as long as 17 years- So both Calen and Janie were right!

          • Yes, we get them every year but some years, there are a ton of them so we have wondered if there are more than one variety around us. We also have cicada killers here in PA. They are these huge scary looking bees that only kill cicadas. We have seen them kill them in mid air and carry them back to their nest to feed the larvae. Nature can be brutal.

            • Ouch – I don’t know if we have bees like that here, but we never see a cicada unless it’s dead. They stay high in the trees. Both my daughter and I have both witnessed a dragonfly invasion, though (as long as we’re talking about bugs) – thousands of the smaller ones suddenly appeared in the air above our back yards, and then moved on. Dragonfly migration, perhaps? There are so many amazing things to see when I remember to get out of the house and look.

      • Maybe you need to import some Mexican cockroaches to play some Latin rythyms for your cicadas. I can see it now: They’re all dressed in Mariachi outfits playing little Spanish guitars and rattles singing ” La Cucharacha” as they sing and dance from tree to tree. The cicadas are going mad with the music.

        • Yeah – while my neighbors are shaking their heads, thinking Jonni has gone totally buggy-brained. :)

          That would make a really cool animated movie short, though. Do you do any animation?

          • Alas, only in my head. Look, maybe you should really play it up and make a pair of wings to go with the mask! Just picture putting your costume on to roll your trash cans out to the street! What fun! (BTW my wife turned me on to your art work, she makes these marvelous paper macho dogs which you can see on Etsy, call Paperport, Helen Ju. She admires yours work and has learned a bit from you. She was excited about the cicada mask and had to show me your work.)

            • Hi Calen. Tell your wife “thanks” for me, for making you come look at the site. I see she’s taking a short vacation on her etsy page, but when she starts up again tell her to come here and let us know. We would love to see those paper mache dogs!

              And I like that idea of wearing a bug on my head when I take out the trash. It would be even more fun if I could hear what my neighbors say to each other after seeing me do it. :)

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